This Week on Between The Lines

Posted July 4, 2012 for week ending July 13, 2012


"We're still going to have 26 million uninsured people, tens of millions more middle-class people who buy health insurance in good faith only to find that when they get serious illness and their insurance fails them. There's too many gaps like co-payments, deductibles and uncovered services so that despite having health insurance, they still can't afford the care. And the health care costs are still going to go through the roof."

– Dr. Steffie Woolhandler on the Supreme Court's upholding of the Affordable Care Act, which subsidizes a for-profit health care system unlike the universal health care of all other developed nations

Listen to the entire program using these links, or to individual interviews via the links appearing prior to each segment description below.

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After Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare, Single-Payer Advocates Vow to Continue Fight for Medicare For All

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Interview with Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, professor of public health at City University of New York, co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program, conducted by Scott Harris


In a long-awaited decision from the Supreme Court, the justices handed down a 5 to 4 ruling on June 28 that upheld the constitutionality of President Obama's Afordable Care Act, which mandates that all citizens who are financially able purchase private health insurance, or be subject to a tax or penalty. Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts surprised many by siding with the court's liberal members, providing a majority opinion that will allow the health care reform legislation to be implemented as planned by 2014. However, in writing the court's opinion, Roberts explained that he upheld the legislation's individual mandate as a tax, not as a valid exercise of Congress' commerce clause power.  Story continues

Supreme Court Ruling Bars Mandatory Life Sentences for Juveniles

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Interview with Marc Mauer, executive director of The Sentencing Project, conducted by Melinda Tuhus


In another important ruling before its summer adjournment, the Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 that imposing mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole for juveniles convicted of murder is unconstitutional. However, under the ruling, judges can still sentence juveniles to life without parole, but only on a case-by-case basis. The high court had abolished the death penalty for juveniles in 2005 and in 2010 had eliminated life without parole for juveniles for crimes not involving homicide.  Story continues

Supreme Court Rejects Arizona's Pre-emption of Federal Immigration Law, But Upholds SB 1070's "Papers Please" Provision

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Interview with Bill Chandler, executive director, Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance, conducted by Scott Harris


Arizona's harsh immigration law, known as SB 1070, which was passed by the state's GOP-controlled legislature in the spring of 2010, provoked widespread anger, protests and calls for an economic boycott. The law made it a crime for an immigrant not to carry documentation on their legal status in the U.S.; allowed state police to arrest people without a warrant if they had probable cause to believe their actions would make them deportable under federal law and made it illegal for an individual to apply for employment without federal work authorization. A fourth provision empowered Arizona state police to investigate the immigration status of a person stopped, detained, or arrested if the officer had a reasonable suspicion that individual was in the country illegally.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon


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